Fwd: [paepard] How will COVID-19 affect Africa’s food systems?

This item may be of interest to you

-------- Original Message --------

[paepard] How will COVID-19 affect Africa's food systems?

2020-03-27 12:28

"Francois Stepman" <fstepman@gmail.com>

"Platform for African - European Partnership in Agricultural Research
for Development Phase II (PAEPARD II)" <PAEPARD@dgroups.org>

"Platform for African - European Partnership in Agricultural Research
for Development Phase II (PAEPARD II)" <PAEPARD@dgroups.org>


25 March 2020. African Arguments. by WILLIAM MOSELEY [1] William G.
Moseley is DeWitt Wallace Professor of Geography, and Director of the
Program for Food, Agriculture & Society, at Macalester College in Saint
Paul, MN USA. He has long worked in West and Southern Africa and serves
on the High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE), a scientific advisory board
to the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS).

Food supplies shouldn't be too badly affected, but social restrictions
will make it hard for many to buy and access food. [2] - extracts of the

Will COVID-19 directly affect food supplies?

* There's no particular reason to expect Africa's food supplies to be
significantly affected as a direct result of the pandemic.
* If food security does become a concern, governments and donors may
suspend their drive to integrate small-scale farmers into global supply
chains and prioritise the provision of local markets instead.
* In some rural areas, foraging and wild food collection is an
important source of dietary diversity. While some people have suggested
that certain wild species (e.g. bats and pangolins) were the source of
COVID-19, it is important not to demonise foraged foods and consider the
broader structural forces that have led to habitat destruction and more
frequent interactions between humans and wildlife.

Will it affect Africa's food producers?

* This may be more of a concern, though it is difficult to predict
exactly what effects will be seen.
* Women are also often responsible for the care of children, the sick
and elderly. This means they could have increased exposure to COVID-19
with knock-on implications for food production, food preparation and
child nutrition.
* It is also the case that farmers tend to be older than average.
Africa has a youthful population, but young people tend to be less
interested [3] in agriculture and more likely to migrate to urban areas.
This leaves a slightly older farming population that could be more
vulnerable to the coronavirus. This will be particularly true of people
whose immune systems are compromised by HIV/AIDS.

What about people's ability to buy food?

* This may be a more immediate concern and will depend somewhat on the
kinds of policies and restrictions governments put in place.
* Many people in urban areas already face poverty and struggle to get
food. Under COVID-19, these difficulties will increase. The very poorest
often depend on casual labour in the informal sector to get by, jobs
that will not be possible under conditions of a lockdown or enforced
social distancing.

What needs to be done?

* When it comes to maintaining food systems during the pandemic,
Africa may have some advantages over other parts of the world such as
its relatively younger workforce and more robust urban and small-scale
* Nonetheless, it will certainly face significant challenges in the
coming months that will require thoughtful attention from policymakers.

You are receiving this message because you are a member of the community
Platform for African - European Partnership in Agricultural Research for
Development Phase II (PAEPARD II) [4].

View this contribution on the web site [5]

A reply to this message will be sent to all members of Platform for
African - European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Reply to sender | Unsubscribe

[1] https://africanarguments.org/author/william-mosely/
[4] https://dgroups.org/paepard
[5] https://dgroups.org/_/tkjfgz46

Click here to visit the DGroups website.

International Cooperating Partners


Get Connected With CCARDESA